By Jemi EKUNKUNBOR
â€œI didnâ€™t sawed you when I woked up this morningâ€ – – – Anonymous child
Although the above quote may sound like some lines from an Eastern language, but it was actually a child trying to say to the mum in English, I didn=t see you when I woke up this morning@. The reason for this bad grammar is not far fetched. The child=s constant mentor and companion is the house-help and what she knows she passes on to the child whom she is being paid to look after. What has happened obviously, is that there is a disconnect between mother and child due to her constant absence from the home. Today=s woman like the mum in this example isÂ torn between building a career and building her home. While some succeed, others fail. The ideal is creating a balance between work and home but how?
It was for this reason that the Allure, Vanguard, packaged a one day seminar known as the AWomen on Wellness Expose (WOW) last weekend to address this burning issue among women and to find a balance for the teeming number of women who are working mums. The one day event brought together women from all walks of life who gathered at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel for the second edition of WOW. Amongst them were, the first Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Turai Ya=Adua represented by Mrs Modupe Afikuyomi, wife of the Delta State governor, Mrs Roli Uduaghan, Honourable Abike Dabiri, and a host of other Nigerian women who have made their mark both in public and private sector.
Speaking on the Balancing Act-Work, Lifestyle and Family, guest speaker, etiquette expert and MD of Poise Nigeria, Mrs Mavi Isibor told the colourful audience, that there is nothing wrong with both parents going out to work.Â According to her, not only is work relatively important to some individuals, two income strings will provide the good things of life to the family such as good house in choice location, good friends, high social status etc. However, when parents go out to work, who looks after the children? She asked rhetorically. Aif you put quality time into developing a worthwhile career, something must suffer@ she added.
The nagging stress which many women experience often stem not from their career but from the home. Issues of over burdening house chores, lack of space to express herself, and lack of honour from her spouse. Often times, women cannot have their me time or be able to go on holiday. Lack of support from a spouse can also cause stress for a woman and subsequently create a disequilibrium in her erstwhile balance.
In finding the right balance therefore, Mrs Mavi Isibor said it is imperative that a proper foundation be laid, a foundation that involves getting hooked to the right man from the on set.
According to her, the friction that most women have with their spouses often arise from marrying the wrong person in the first place. The right man in her view, must be such a man who can buy into her vision and what she wants out of life so that the choices she makes would be by choice and not by chance. To achieve this, she said a couple must go on a self discovery path in order to align their visions, determine what they want in life, agree on trade offs, recognise long term implications of the decisions agreed on as it will consequently affect how much space and honour the man would be willing to give and accord his wife later in life.
Mrs Isibor noted that in trying to balance the act, a woman must try not to burn out because there is only so much that she can take.
However, where it is impossible to strike a balance, she said a woman must always set herÂ dream aside and give in to the will of her husband. And to succeed at home, she said, a woman must ensure that her children grow up responsibly, imbibing the right values and correct character formation. When the home front is in order coupled with a good earning power, a woman can then graduate, give herself a treat by employing a driver, house-help, cook and even have a Jacuzzi at home for her comfort and enjoyment. Giving a finale tip, she called on women to always celebrate themselves and do things in their power that can make them truly happy.
During the discussion that followed Mrs Isibor=s paper, Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, testifying to her work life balance told the women that because she is out of the home on location most of the time, when she is not shooting a film, she finds time to bond with her husband and daughter. In addition she says, Amy husband knows I like my work very much so he gives me my space and place of honour@.
To Funmi Ajila Ladipo, designer and boss of Regalia, time is very important if a balance must be created. AI take my time to do every thing I have to do. I try to put a balance in everything. It is important to do what is appropriate and to do it at the right time.
Taking a look at the human personality, co-ordinator of Affirm Consultancy in Nigeria, Ziba Nwankwo, said women are either, passive, assertive or aggressive. She said between the three levels of personality trait, a middle ground is always better. In otherwords, being assertive helps the individual t be able to expressive her feelings, change her mind and feel okay with it because she realises that the choice is hers to make. According to her, assertive women rather than being aggressive, tend to understand other people and listen to them. She called on women to be assertive because they deserve to be.
the choice is hers to make. According to her, assertive women rather than being aggressive, tend to understand other people and listen to them. She called on women to be assertive because they deserve to be.
Earlier in a welcome address, special guest of honour and wife of the Delta State governor, Mrs Roli Uduaghan in a song, admonished the women to be proud of being women as that is precisely what God has made them to be. She told the women to take pride in their gender and try to perform their natural roles in order to create the necessary balance and the 100% wellness that has eluded some working wives.